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18-19 November 2022

Last week NAPWHA hosted our 2022 Annual General Meeting at the Rydges Hotel in Camperdown, Sydney.  We were excited to be all meeting face-to-face for the first time in a few years and hear presentations from each of our member organisations and community networks.

Image:  Attendees of the Annual General Meeting 2022.

Annual Report 2022

Executive Director, Aaron Cogle gave a summary of the Annual Report that was released early last week. This included NAPWHA’s FY21-22 highlights and celebrated some wins for NAPWHA including the launch of the peer navigator training and the funding of home testing kit initiative. Take a look at the full report.

NAPWHA Board Announcements 

NAPWHA President, Scott Harlum, made announcements of new changes to the NAPWHA Board, including the welcomed appointment of Ryan Oliver and welcoming back Diane Lloyd who took some time off this year. Warm thanks and acknowledgements were made to departing board member, Steve Spencer.

Ryan Oliver is the Positive Organisation WA Treasurer and is a HIV positive kiwi living in Perth. HIV advocacy and awareness define Ryan’s involvement within the HIV sector, as he strengthens a world where HIV is normalised and we live together without stigma or discrimination. Ryan’s goal is to provide advocacy, leadership, and representation for the diverse needs of all people with HIV in this state.

As an advocate for change, Ryan seeks to provide a voice and a face of the HIV community in WA. Ryan is empowered to be seen and heard personally, professionally and publicly as an HIV positive man and feels connected to a network of positive peers that will result in a changed lived experience for people with HIV. Ryan has publicly spoken about the changed dynamic in the current age of undetectable = uninfectious (U=U), also known as Treatment as Prevention (TasP), and PrEP.

Image:  NAPWHA President Scott Harlum presenting at the AGM.

Guest Speakers 2022

We were treated to some interesting presentations by external guest speakers on Monkey Pox, Breastfeeding and Stigma.

Dr Nick Medland called in from London to give an update on Monkey Pox including its population prevalence trends, epidemiology and vaccine efficacy. Dr Adam Bartlett presented on U=U and an update on breastfeeding studies, noting that the research lags behind the community’s progress.

Lexy Kong from Ipsos spoke to the findings of market research on HIV stigma in two groups in Australia – Asian families and white, young males. While some of this research was confronting for the room to hear, it will aid future campaigns by positive living organisations that address stigma.

Understanding PLHIV experience through the HIV Futures study

Dani Putra-Jaya Sudarto is a Social Work Student and Community Worker who has been working on a project with NAPWHA to review the existing nine HIV Futures Studies. From his review he has been able to provide foresight for future research. More of this will be published over the coming months, but in the meantime take a look at Dani’s AGM presentation.

Image:  Dani Putra-Jaya Sudarto, Social Work Student who is leading the project on ‘Understanding PLHIV experience through the HIV Futures Study.’

NAPWHA Community Networks

Jimmy Chen, NAPWHA Networks Projects Officer, introduced the convenors of each Community Network who gave updates on their work in 2022 and goals moving forward. 

Women’s network aims for further research, focussed specifically on Women Living with HIV(WLHIV). So we can accurately answer woman’s questions on Treatment as Prevention, U=U, rapid testing and injectable treatments as well as many concerns around HIV and ageing. Every time a positive woman speaks out, we are increasing the community’s collective awareness and challenging HIV-related stigma and discrimination.
– Heather Ellis, convenor of the National Network of Women living with HIV

There is a real importance that Aboriginal people living with HIV must have a place at the table alongside our Non-Indigenous Brothers and sisters so we can learn from one another, share in the knowledge, and walk the same path in the elimination of HIV for everybody.
– Michelle Tobin, convenor of PATSIN

I received great support so far from every organisation but when it comes to PANA where I can meet people from similar backgrounds and stories, I feel related and sense of belonging again because everyone has been through similar situation. And I found it’s very easy to talk with everyone because they are all very welcome and the most important thing for me is feeling like you are part of something in somewhere far away from home. It helps me a lot.
– Jetsada Khumyong, convenor of PANA

The proportion of Latin American students in Australia has been steadily growing in the last seven years. PLAN is aimed specifically to communities living with HIV from Spanish and Portuguese speaking backgrounds living in Australia. The important of support, engage and explore the factors not only related to HIV health. But also in treatment, visa and migration issues, disclosure, stigma, and resilience.
– Miguel Valencia, convenor of PLAN

We determined that we should strive to advance the wellbeing of ALL men living with HIV in Australia who identify as heterosexual or straight. We seek to support the voices of these men and create safe opportunities for them to connect
– Anth McCarthy, convenor of HetMA

Book Launch: “Start With Your Own Onion”

Image:  Adrian Ogier, NAPWHA Director of Communications and Campaigns, interviewing author Greg Kelly.

We wrapped up Day One with a special event to support longtime community member, Greg Kelly and his new book “Start with Your Own Onion.”  Keep an eye out on NAPWHA’s socials for more information of how to purchase one of these shortly.

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